WATERVILLE — If there is one thing eight-man football promotes it is scoring. Lots and lots of scoring.

And Camden Hills has done plenty of that in three games, including 166 points en route to a 2-1 start to the high school campaign.

Unfortunately, the same format makes playing defense mighty difficult, what with much more field to cover and fewer people to defend each yard of the turf.

The Windjammers found that out on Friday night, Sept. 17 in a 74-54 road loss to Waterville on the Purple Panthers’ homecoming.

It marked the second straight week Camden Hills had to punt, so to speak, on one opponent and play another. Again this week, a foe was unable to play due to COVID-19 protocols. The previous week it was Ellsworth, this week it was Houlton.

The Windjammers were scheduled to host Houlton on Saturday, Sept. 18, but had to switch and play at Waterville on Friday.

In Friday’s game, the host Purple Panthers scored 16 points in the first quarter, 24 in the second, 14 in the third and 74 in the fourth. The Windjammers answered with 22 points in the second, 24 in the third and eight in the fourth.

The teams combined for 1,147 yards, including 546 for Camden Hills. The Windjammers rushed for 440 yards and passed for 106. Camden Hills was 6-of-12 on third downs and 2-of-6 on fourth downs. The visitors finished with eight penalties for 35 yards.

Keying the Windjammer offense were Hunter Norton with 377 rushing yards, Ryan Clifford with 97 passing yards and 55 rushing yards and Owen Reynolds 74 receiving yards and three kickoffs for 103 yards.

Norton, who also averaged 18 yards on three kick returns, had another monster performance. He had scoring runs of six, 36, 45, 49 and 57 and four two-point conversions for 38 points.

Also for Camden Hills, Louis Mainella also had 25 yards through the air and 17 on the ground. As for scoring, Enzo Russillo and Clifford had two-point conversion runs), Reynolds a 54-yard scoring pass from Clifford and Clifford a four-yard TD run.

On defense for Camden Hills, Norton (7 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 2 tackles for loss), Louis Mainella (6 solo tackles, 3 assists), Josh Harrington (4 solos, 2 assists), Russillo (3 solos) and Mason Thomas (2 solos, tackle for loss) keyed the team.

“It was a great game to be a part of,” said Camden Hills head coach Chris Christie. “After so many months of not having any games, we were able to play a great football program during their homecoming. There was a ton of energy in this game.”

The coach added, “I have a lot of respect for the Waterville program. They were everything we thought and more … well-coached, disciplined, fundamentally strong and passionate about their homecoming.

“I look forward to the next time we get to see them on the field.”